Well that lasted about a week. I miss summer and wish autumn would get on with it. Yesterday was beautiful, but today it’s colder and rainy, and I’m sure the wind is pulling down all the autumn foliage just as it finally colors up here in the valley. Here are a few spots in the garden, maybe when I look back in January the cold and ice will put it all in perspective.
I spent most of Saturday just wasting time. The weather was nearly perfect and the schedule was open, but 90% of the day was spent watching grass blow in the wind or birds picking through seed heads and nearly no time time was spent productively. If we had to separate into ants and grasshoppers, I’d be all grasshopper this weekend.
I guess I did mow the lawn on Friday. It didn’t really need it but the mower made quick work of stray twigs and leaves which were starting to pile up and with the mower set to mulch it was not much of a commitment at all. Also it kind of chopped up the turf clods which lay all around the back yard courtesy of Mr. Skunk. Someone suggested I replace and tamp down all the clods before mowing… I gave him the look and said he was more than welcome to do that in his own yard. Here we prefer to thank the skunks for their free grub removal and turf aeration services and let winter work apart the clods.
Mowing the lawn takes a little longer these days now that the meadow area is back on the weekly cut plan. To those who thought the tall grass was a reservoir of dangerous ticks and snakes and spiders this comes as a relief, but to me it’s all just part of getting the turf ready for next year’s show of spring bulbs and early summer wildflowers. It will sprout up again just fine next spring, and ironically enough the most dangerous thing back there still remains within inches of the swing. The bright red seed pods you see belong to the castor bean plant(Ricinus communis), and as you may know the beans are the source of the poison ricin. Smaller children would need to be watched, but based on what a struggle vegetable eating is in this house I’m pretty confident my own kids won’t be picking beans up out of the dirt and eating them any time soon.
I may not have done much in most of the garden but at least I did pay some attention to the rock garden. It still doesn’t have any rocks but at least the yews are trimmed. Weird that out of all the things to do this time of year I’d be trimming up little yew meatballs, but there you have it, Saturday’s big job. Here’s a photo from a few years ago to give you an idea of where we came from.
Two years ago I trimmed the yews back to within a few inches of the ground. It was either that or remove them completely, but after the struggle of taking a single one out (so the electrician could rework the electric service), I suddenly warmed up to the idea of keeping them. So now I have little yew nuggets along the foundation and an empty south-facing mulch bed which seems perfect for rock garden plants. I’ve already filled most of it and it’s a constant battle to keep from doubling the size of the bed.
Eventually I’ll need to get moving if I really want to be serious about gardening again next year. Beds need cleaning, plants need saving, things need transplanting. There’s always plenty to do but in the back of my mind I keep figuring that cold indoor days are coming and I should take advantage of the last warm days. That probably means doing things, but a little soaking it up doesn’t hurt either.
Tomorrow I’ll be running around. Or not. Most of the geraniums, amaryllis, and cordyline spikes can handle a little frost and should be ok for another week or so, so I guess it all comes down to seeing how long I can postpone the inevitable.
Frost will come, the garden will go to bed, and the dreams of spring will start. I’m sure there are still plenty of perfect days to come but for now I’m dreading the end, and even worse when the clocks fall back next weekend. I wonder if it’s too early to start thinking about snowdrops.
… haha, who am I kidding, I’ve already been obsessing about them for the last month!
Have a great week, and maybe you can find something pleasant in the soft light, beautiful colors, and crisp air of autumn 😉